Call for culturally-aware crisis support for Indigenous peoples in B.C.
Youth Supporting Themselves
As a young person you may at times want to get mental health or substance-use supports on your own.
This could be for a variety of reasons. You might feel like your family will react negatively, or you may have safety concerns. If this is the case, there are ways you can get help for yourself.
If you are between 12 and 24 years old, you can reach out to Foundry BC. At Foundry BC, you can access services including counselling, peer support, substance-use services, groups, medical appointments, and help seeking employment. Foundry BC has in-person services in various communities across the province, as well as online services through their app, Foundry Virtual.
If you are 13 years old or older, you can attend an intake at a Child and Youth Mental Health clinic on your own or with the support of a trusted adult. An intake appointment is an in-person or virtual conversation with a counsellor to talk about what you are experiencing and the services that may help. The counsellor may recommend a number of options, including supports in the community, additional counselling options or referral to other professionals like a psychologist or therapist. You can learn more about what to expect during a Child and Youth Mental Health intake here.
You could also consider reaching out to a helpline. This can be a good option if you need help right away. Helplines are also there for you if you just need someone understanding to talk to. Helplines are free, and some can even be accessed using online chat or text message for extra privacy.
Your BC Services Card
You should know that some services require you to show your BC Services Card, also known as your MSP number or care card
You can write down the 10-digit “Personal Health Number” on the back of the card if you can’t bring the physical card with you
Taking a picture of the front and back of your card is another great option
Your school counsellor might also have access to your Services Card number if you don’t know where the card is kept
If you do not have access to your Services Card, you can discuss other options—other services might be available to you without your card
Speaking to a doctor or counsellor for the first time can be intimidating, especially if you have never gone to an appointment alone before. It might be helpful to speak to a friend or trusted adult to help you prepare. You could also bring a list of questions to ask so you don’t forget.
Often young people think their questions are silly or not important—remember that you have the right to understand what is happening for you, and to learn about different options for support. Helping you understand this is part of a doctor or counsellor’s job.
You can also ask someone to come with you to help remind you if you get anxious or nervous during appointments.
Often, getting support can feel complicated. There may be lots of information for you to remember. It is common for people to take notes during appointments—you can ask your doctor or counsellor to repeat information, or to explain words to you. A friend or trusted adult can also join you in your appointments to take notes if you need help.
The first time we visit a doctor or counsellor is often with our parents or guardians. If you have visited a provider with your family before, they may have your parent’s contact information on file. You can request that they change the contact information to your own phone number or email if you want to keep appointment reminders and other calls private.
It is common for youth to worry that their parents will be able to see when they have visited a doctor or counsellor. Your BC Services Card does not track appointments—there is no website or account where your parents can see how many appointments you have had. You can discuss with the provider and their front desk staff whether they can tell your parents or guardians that you have had an appointment.
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Foundry BC Youth Clinics
Youth-focused clinics offering free counselling, primary care and more, for ages 12-24.
Find a child and youth mental health clinic near you.
The Ministry of Children and Family Development's Child and Youth Mental Health (CYMH) teams located across B.C. provide a range of mental health assessment and treatment options for children and youth (0-18 years of age) and their families at no cost.
Clinics are staffed by mental health clinicians, psychologists, and psychiatrists. Clinicians can refer to specialized care including psychiatry.
Online, phone and text crisis support with trained professional for youth looking for a non-judgmental listening ear.
Youthspace.ca (NEED2) provides mental health support and crisis management to children and youth up to 30 years. No matter your background, religion, race, ability, sexual orientation, gender identity, lifestyle or culture, Youthspace.ca provides a non-judgmental space for emotional support. Chats online or through text are usually 40-60 minutes long.
Youth can anonymously reach out over the phone, via text or online to professionally trained volunteers and staff who are able to provide supportive listening, help with exploring options, risk assessment, collaborative safety planning, and connection to resources in the community or online. Email counselling is also offered.
Youth counsellors are trained to provide support for issues, including: relationships, family conflict, school and work challenges, addictions and substance use, violence and abuse, and mental, physical and sexual health. Emails are kept confidential.
Call this helpline if you are a child or youth who feels unsafe, confused, or scared and wishes to talk with someone. The line is answered by child protection social workers, through the Ministry of Children and Family Development.
You do not need an area code. You can call at any time of the day or night and you do not have to give your name.